- The passing of the Great Recession, decreased telecommuting and crowdsourced ride-sharing apps including Uber and Lyft have added more workers to traffic, The Wall Street Journal reported, especially in areas where public transportation has been reduced or eliminated.
- Based on research by Texas A&M, Inrix, a company that monitors real-time traffic information and its accompanying costs, found that in 2016, growing congestion cost U.S. drivers roughly $1,400, adding up to nearly $300 billion. That accounts for wasted fuel, decreased productivity and lost time, which includes slower delivery times and/ or missed meetings.
- Thanksgiving travel time is expected to increase accordingly. In 2016, more than 48.7 million drivers crowded the road on what is now known as Black Wednesday. This marks an increase of about a million more drivers than in 2015. A further increase is expected for 2017.
Growing traffic congestion doesn't just affect commuters; it also slows the supply chain.
A linchpin within the supply chain, the trucking industry lost $63.4 billion in productivity due to traffic congestion in 2015, with recent estimates placing losses at a minimum of 728 million hours, or the equivalent of 264,500 truck drivers sitting still for a full year. Traffic is so bad in cities such as Chicago that shipping has moved from land to sea transport in order to avoid consistently clogged expressways or congested railways.
To say that industry is affected by growing congestion linked to delayed infrastructure repair is more of an understatement than it may seem. Logistical shortcomings slowing truck transport are expected to negatively impact the chemical industry via $22 billion in excess inventory, as at least 61% of chemical shipments travel by truck.
If the congestion currently becoming routine on the nation's roads and highways remains, significant expansion rather than just repair will need to be added to the country's infrastructure "to do" list.